JASPERS celebrates its 10th anniversary


JASPERS celebrated its tenth anniversary on 9th November in Brussels, in the presence of the early contributors to the initiative, JASPERS staff coming from Luxembourg and all regional offices and representatives of its stakeholders (EU Commission, EIB, EBRD and beneficiary Member States).

“In its first ten years of existence, JASPERS has assisted over 1000 projects. The investment value of those approved by the European Commission for grant financing is close to EUR 80 billion”, said EIB President Werner Hoyer at the opening ceremony. “JASPERS has shown it can play a vital role by speeding up delivery of investment in projects that promote growth and jobs”.

“JASPERS has grown considerably in size, scope and remit. It is now well placed to deliver the boost required in Europe and also to change the focus towards new areas, like developing the knowledge economy, while also responding to major global challenges like climate change”, said Walter Deffaa, Director General of DG Regional and Urban Policy.

Representatives from four beneficiary countries (Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania) underlined JASPERS’ role in “filling the gap” between old and new Member States, while contributing to speed up the absorption of the available EU grant funds (“EC approval? No JASPERS, no project”, said Noémi Dalnoky from the Hungarian Ministry of National Development).

“JASPERS has had a huge impact on delivering better EU projects”, concluded EIB Vice President Jan Vapaavuori, “Taking stock on the vast expertise and experience gained and constantly developed, in the future JASPERS will consider a holistic approach, reaching out to all through its competence centre, putting more effort into developing the new strands of business and sectors and in advisory tailor-made support”.

JASPERS Stakeholders meeting in Brussels on 10 November, 2015


JASPERS' seventh Stakeholders meeting took place in Brussels on 10 November, 2015.

The event was attended by over one hundred representatives of the JASPERS beneficiary countries and by JASPERS' partners (EIB, European Commission via DG Regional and Urban Policy and EBRD).

Stakeholders meetings provide JASPERS with useful input from Member States which helps to improve JASPERS' service.

The 2015 meeting was structured around five panel sessions:

Investment framework 2014-2020: needs, expectations and available advisory support

Using JASPERS throughout the projects cycle

Support to non-major projects, programme schemes and horizontal actions

How to handle capacity building needs in the 2014-2020 programming period

Connecting Europe Facility: support to Member States

"JASPERS increasingly plays a role in the early stages of project development" said Nicholas Martin, Deputy Director General of DG Regional and Urban Policy. "The earlier that input by specialists takes place, the better". The important role of JASPERS as IQR was also underlined, as the basis for a rapid decision to grant assistance.

Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services of the European Investment Bank, described the role of JASPERS in the context of advisory services and explained how JASPERS can contribute to the European Advisory Hub.

Representatives of the Managing Authorities of JASPERS' beneficiary countries actively contributed to the panel sessions, providing JASPERS with precious feedback.

JASPERS is successfully used throughout the project cycle, explained Catalin Gheran of the Ministry of European Funds in Romania, thanks to a mix of high quality expertise, a results oriented approach and the direct relation with the Commission services.

Current and future challenges are the increased workload, the need to safeguard its assets, to avoid a "globalisation" mode and a top-down approach, and the possibility that the IQR function adds an increased pressure on JASPERS.

The need for specific training and the transfer of information throughout the chain of knowledge was also raised in the context of capacity building. Balázs Pichler, head of Department for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of European Structural and Investment Funds of Hungary suggested that JASPERS hold regional workshops besides multi-country events, "train the trainer" events with translated résumés and video summaries of its seminars.

Stéphane Ouaki from DG MOVE explained how JASPERS can support Member States in the context of Connecting Europe Facility. JASPERS can provide technical assistance for project development and implementation to projects on the TEN-T core network that are eligible/financed under the CEF "cohesion envelope". The aim is to help MS that specifically ask for JASPERS' assistance fully absorb national allocations. Seven countries have so far asked JASPERS' support: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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